The US’ desire to dismantle the network of Iranian influence in Latin America and specifically in Venezuela speaks to its commitment to counter the regional sway of its rivals’ “deep states”, though it’s hitherto unprecedented for any country to make such a crusade public since the end of the Old Cold War, let alone clothe it in “anti-terrorist” and “anti-criminal” rhetoric.
US Secretary of State Pompeo recently reiterated his rhetoric that Iran is a “global threat”, this time basing it on his claims that the country’s network of influence in Latin America is supporting “transnational crime” and “terrorism”. This comes shortly after Washington designated the IRGC as a “terrorist” organization and approximately half a year since the Justice Department began investigating Iranian ally Hezbollah’s alleged links to drug cartels as a follow-up to the scandalous Obama-era “Operation Cassandra“.
Taken together, it’s clear that the US desires to dismantle Iran and Venezuela’s supposedly interconnected influence networks in Latin America as the next step in fortifying “Fortress America“, and while “deep state” wars such as this one have been going on for decades, it’s hitherto unprecedented for any country to make such a crusade public since the end of the Old Cold War when the US used to make similar claims about the USSR and its communist proxies.
Evidently, the US isn’t shy about ushering in a new era of “deep state” wars whereby Great Powers such as itself (which is presently the leading one in the world) openly work to thwart the networks of influence established by its regional rivals’ on the grounds that the military-intelligence wings of their “deep states” are engaged in “criminal” and “terrorist” activities that threaten the world at large. It’s no secret that the CIA has been involved in these exact same activities for years, but getting bogged down in “feel-good” “whatabouttism” isn’t the purpose of this analysis even though it’s still important to point that out since it shows that the Trump Administration’s “hyper-realist” foreign policy is centered on the notion that “might makes right” and that double standards don’t matter as long as a state is strong enough to implement them with minimal consequences to its interests.
If successful in what it’s setting out to do, then the US will undoubtedly expand its operations against Venezuela and Iran’s “deep states” to include Russia and China’s as well, with the first-mentioned being relevant because of the emerging role that it plays in strengthening “Democratic Security” across the “Global South” in counteracting America’s regime change influence whereas the latter is importantly leading the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) that will tie all of its partner states together in a “community of shared destiny” that revolutionizes 21st-century geopolitics.
Russian influence is already on the decline in Latin America except for in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Cuba, though China’s is on the ascent and poses the largest long-term threat to the “New Monroe Doctrine”, which is why it’ll probably be targeted next. Given the pattern being established through the public crusades against against Venezuela and Iran’s “deep states”, the US will likely attack China’s using similar “criminal”- or “corruption”-related rhetoric too, at the very least.